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Solar Cycle 23 Images and Measurements
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Solar Cycle 23, Images and Measurements

January 10, 2013
Measurements from the ACE and Ulysses spacecraft show that the force exerted by solar wind is literally falling with time. The top figure shows how the Sun changes with time over the solar cycle. At solar minimum the Sun’s hot corona appears much darker and cooler than at solar maximum. The bottom panel shows sunspot number on the Sun, which also indicates how active the Sun is. The middle panel shows the falling force of the solar wind with time (from 1992 through 2010). As the solar wind becomes weaker, the boundaries surrounding the heliosphere may begin to fall in toward the Sun and Earth. These falling boundaries are part of the reason that IBEX observes changes from the first to the second map of the global heliosphere. Credit: SwRI/Ulysses and ACE data/SOHO EIT images


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